Ken Malloy, a San Pedro preservationist who dedicated 54 years to the cultivation of Harbor Regional Park, died Thursday at Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Los Angeles after a monthlong illness. He was 79.
Malloy, who was honored just two months ago in a tree-planting ceremony at the park, died of complications from a Dec. 14 heart attack, according to family friends.
A retired longshoreman, one-time grocery owner and early member of the California Conservation Corps, Malloy was perhaps best known for leading the fight in 1971 for the purchase of the 320-acre park by the city of Los Angeles.
Over the years, he not only spearheaded the development of the park’s overnight youth campground and wildlife and bird sanctuary, but personally tended the grounds as meticulously as a gardener would care for a flower bed.
“He gave so much of himself without calling attention to himself,” said City Councilwoman Joan Milke Flores. “The community is going to have to take up his causes because they are too important to drop.”
Malloy is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen Malloy, daughter Marilyn Rae Malloy, son Thomas Martin Malloy and two grandchildren. Funeral arrangements were being handled by the Green Hills Mortuary in Rancho Palos Verdes.
The family requested that donations be sent in lieu of flowers to the San Pedro Bay Historical Society.